In-formation Spaces: Design and performance of institutional interiors as complex communication environments

Connie Svabo

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


The essay focuses on a range of institutional interiors designed with the intention of providing information or facilitating communication. Examples of this may be found in retail environments, schools, museums, hospitals and prisons, where visual and spatial designs enact institutional intentions as well as cater for or regulate individual experiences and actions. The essay will explore the potential of Performance Design to understand and highlight how enacted spatialities emerge in complex and contested ways, where a multitude of experiential, social, technological and spatial processes interrelate and negotiate institutional design intentions. Through the scenographic legacy from scene painting, perspective drawing, scenic writing and staging, Performance Design is apt for recognizing the integral role of all elements of production in acts of staging and evoking spatial experience (Schechner 1968, Aronson 2005:7). Alongside this, the inquiry is supported by interrogations of design performativity in a broad-spectrum Performance Design approach - extending inquiries into design and performance far beyond theatre (Hannah & Harsløf 2008:12f). The essay will explore the design and performance of institutional in-formation spaces beyond the typical cultural institution, for example when children with autism take pleasure from being in rooms that are designed for sensorial immersion (Trimingham 2017:185), when the Sony Potsdamer Platz creates just the right ambiance to seductively blur the boundaries between public and commercial space (Allen 2006) or when Haldén prison in Norway is designed to let prisoners move freely as in a village community (Hancock & Jewkes 2011). The essay will develop an understanding of the Performance Design of institutional interiors, which highlights the crucial difference between design intention and enacted spatial practice, and will relate this to an understanding of communication as complex process (Berlo 1960) and dynamic interaction (Rogers & Kincaid 1981, Cronen, Pearce & Harris 1982). Hence Performance Design informs the design and performance of complex communication and in-formation spaces.
TitelPerforming Institutions
StatusUnder udarbejdelse - 2020

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